Reconsidering the theory of global basic structure

When:7 Mar 2017, 12:30pm - 2pm
Venue:Morven Brown 310 (map ref C20)
Who:Teppo Eskelinen (University of Jyväskylä)
Teppo Eskelinen

Philosophy Seminar


Since Rawls, political philosophers have been interested in defining what is called the “basic structure” of society, comprising of basic institutions. Further, in response to global economic inequality, several philosophers have argued that the global society should be interpreted as also having an institutional “basic structure”, which determines at least partially the social / economic fate of nations, calling for the assessment of such institutional order from the viewpoint of theory of justice. Sometimes, this theoretical standpoint has been used to argue that the rich harm the global poor.

While there naturally have always been disputes regarding the “scope” of such basic structure, recent developments in global poverty push difficult questions on the idea of a global basic structure. It seems that while the income gap between the rich and the poor is wider than ever, these inequalities are growing within countries rather than between countries. In my presentation, I will interrogate the theories of global justice from the basis of this observation and ask, how should the theory be modified and restated, including the idea of harm.

About Teppo Eskelinen

Teppo Eskelinen (PhD University of Jyväskylä 2009) is a political philosopher and social scientist. He has published on global justice, development and political economy. In addition to his scientific activities, he is a long-term member of a committee evaluating Finnish development aid contributions. His scientific works have been published in journals such as The Journal of Global Ethics, World Political Science and Sats.

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